I'm not sure when this is due, since I have been excommunicated from the blogpoll roundtable for nonresponsiveness. I'm guessing Nestor still gets the emails.
But Heisman Pundit is hosting it, and even if this isn't our official entry, it can be a rough draft, and all our contributors and commenters can share their thoughts.
What criteria do you use to determine if a team and its players are good?
I'd like to say that I have objective means of doing so, but like everyone else, most of my criteria are subjective, filled with bias, rely upon my senses, which sometimes deceive me, and frought with the peril of selective memory.
That said, the objective measurements aren't perfect either. For example, to use the Sagarin ratings at this point, before any games have been played, is laughable. Additionally, the ratings systems rely upon margin of victory, this is one of the things that actually gives it value, but this depends upon things aren't necessarilly indicative of how good a team is, such as whether a coach decides to stop passing or insert reserves while blowing another team out. This is why the BCS doesn't rely on margin of victory, and arguably, one of the many reasons why the BCS is flawed.
Also, according to the Sagarin ratings, Cal is 18, and Oregon State is 19. Laughable. There just isn't enough data right now for this to be meaningful. Later in the season, there will be.
So right now, we're stuck with my selective memory, biases, sometimes unreliable vision, and short attention span.
If you could choose one coach to build an offensive system for your team, who would it be? Conversely, who would you choose to devise the defense? Why?
Offense, Tedford. The rushing stats (5th in the nation 2004-05, 260 ypg), scoring offense (6th, 37.3 ppg) and total offense, (also 5th, over 490 ypg) speak for themselves. (The teams that were higher, Louisville, Boise State, Utah, Bowling Green all played weaker competition, although cases could be made for the coaches that implemented/designed these offenses, as well as Norm Chow and a few others.)
As far as defense, I'd have to go with (yuck) Pete Carroll. Notice similariy between my picks and Straight Bangin'? There's a good reason why, "These picks are the chalk ones, but they're chalk because they're consistently so good."
Yeah, afraid so.
Describe your typical college football Saturday.
Instead of responding, I'll just post the long-circulated purportedly-autobiographical story about a Texas fan, because it's so funny:
6:00 Arise, play the Eyes of Texas and Texas Fight at full-freaking blast 6:20 Get in car, drive to New Braunfels
7:30 Tee off (me and a buddy were the FIRST tee-time of the morning)
8:50 Turn 9 (crack open first beer)
8:53 Crack open second beer
8:58 Crack open...(you get the idea)
10:30 Finish 18 (holes, as well as beers), sign scorecard for smoooooth 95
10:35 Headed for San Antonio
10:50 Buy three 18-packs for pre- and post-game festivities
11:10 We decide we don't have enough booze, so we double-back to a liquor store and buy the good ol' 750 ml plastic bottle "Traveler" of Jim Beam
11:50 Arrive at the tailgate spot. Awesome day. Not a single cloud in the sky. About 70 degrees.
11:55 I decide that we're going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.
11:56 I tell my first Nebraska fan to go fuck himself.
12:15 The UT band walks by on the way to the Alamodome. We're on the second floor of a two-story parking garage on the corner (a couple hundred of us). We're hooting and hollering like wildmen. The band doubles back to the street right below us and serenades us with Texas Fight and The Eyes of Texas. AWESOME MOMENT.
12:25 In the post-serenade serendipity, 50-100 grown men are bumping chests with one another, each and every one of them now secure and certain of the fact that we are going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.
1:00 The Nebraska band walks by on the way to the Alamodome. Again,we hoot and holler like wildmen. Again, the band doubles back and stops right below us to serenade us, this time, however, with the Nebraska fight songs. Although somewhat impressed by their spirit and verve, we remain convinced that we are going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.
1:30 I begin the walk to the Alamodome, somehow managing to stuff the "Traveler" and 11 cans of beer into my pants.
1:47 I am in line surrounded by Nebraska fans. They are taunting me. I am taunting back, still certain that we are going to kick the shit out of Nebraska. I decide to challenge a particularly vocal Nebraska fan to play what I now call and will forever be remembered as "Cell-Phone Flop Out." Remember flop out for a dollar? The rules are similar. I tell this Nebraska jackass that if he's so confident in his team, he should "flop out" his cell phone RIGHT NOW and make plane reservations to Phoenix for the Fiesta Bowl. And then I spoke these memorable words: "And not those damn refundable tickets, either! You request those nonrefundable, nontransferable sons-of-bitches!" He backs down. He is unworthy. I call Southwest Airlines and buy two tickets to Phoenix, nonrefundable and nontransferable. Price:$712. He is humbled. He lowers his head in shame. I raise my cell phone in triumph to the cheers of hundreds of Texas fans. I am KING and these are my subjects. I distribute the 11 beers in my pants to the cheering masses. I RULE the pre-game kingdom.
2:34 Kickoff. Brimming with confidence, I open the Traveler and pour my first stiffy.
2:45 I notice something troubling: Nebraska is big. Nebraska is fast. Nebraska is very pissed off at Texas.
3:01 The first quarter mercifully ends. 9 yards total offense for Texas. Zero first downs for Texas. I'm still talking shit. I pour another stiffy from the Traveler.
3:36 Four minutes to go in the first half: the Traveler is a dead soldier. I buy my first $5 beer from the Alamodome merchants. While I am standing in line, a center snap nearly decapitates Major Applewhite and rolls out of the end zone. Safety.
3:56 Halftime score: Nebraska 15, Texas 0. I wish I had another Traveler.
4:11 While urinating next to a Nebraska fan in the bathroom at halftime, I attempt to revive the classic Brice-ism from the South Bend bathroom: "Hey, buddy, niiiiiiiiice cock." He is unamused.
4:21 I buy my 2nd and 3rd $5 beer from the Alamodome merchants. I share my beer with two high school girls sitting behind me. Surprisingly, they are equipped with a flask full of vodka. I send them off to purchase Sprites, so that we may consume their vodka. I have not lost faith. Nebraska is a bunch of pussies.
4:51 No more vodka. The girls sitting behind me have fled for their lives. I purchase two more $5 beers from the Alamodome merchants.
5:18 Score is Nebraska 22, Texas 0. I am beginning to lose faith. This normally would trouble me, but I am too drunk to see the football field.
5:27 I call Southwest Airlines: "I'm sorry, sir. Those tickets have been confirmed and are nonrefundable and nontransferable."
It goes on. And on. If you haven't read it yet (unlikely), or you haven't read it in awhile, do so.
Open for comments.